Intuitive Abstraction: Eve Townshend, Kira Behnert, Sue Thompson & MV Goertz, - 3D virtual exhibition by The Essential School of Painting

Intuitive Abstraction: Eve Townshend, Kira Behnert, Sue Thompson & MV Goertz,

Fri, 08/14/2020 to Sun, 01/31/2021

curated by:

Intuitive Abstraction: Process and Narrative is taught by Alexander James Pollard and Johanna Melvin. The course consists of full immersive days incorporating experimentation, playfulness, technical guidance and discussion. The course offered a fortnightly forum in which the artists were encouraged to build their practice and develop their understanding of Intuitive abstract painting.

The principal motivation for producing my artwork has come from being in
outstanding locations such as Lake Como, Orkney Islands, Zambia and Bali.

Drawing is fundamental to my practice. From my sketches I develop them further
introducing other elements where memory is important. I use some of my own made-up acrylic paints, pastels, gesso ground and oakgall inks. Drawing heightens my
observation skills and allows clarity to develop in my work, especially that of the
imagination, interrelated shapes and atmosphere.

I am a nurse by profession; however, I have always had a strong compulsion to be an artist. Throughout my nursing career I have taken time off to pursue my art. This has included completing an Art Foundation Course at the Camberwell School of Art in 1984, an Art Therapy Postgraduate Diploma at Goldsmiths College in 1990 and more recently, a BA Hons Fine Art Degree at Oxford Brookes University in 2014.

I consider the disciplines of nursing and art to be interconnected. The art of nursing is the intentional creative use of oneself, based upon skill and expertise to transmit emotion and meaning to another. The artist attempts to convey a myriad of emotions and experiences through their creations.

My approach to painting can be described as intuitive, creating images by following a feeling or knowing, something that cannot be put into words. My starting point for a painting can be playful mark making or an image that I have taken on my mobile phone. I spend a lot of time travelling around London by bus. I find so many stimulating colours, shapes, and objects to photograph as I am sitting at bus stops or stuck in traffic.

The objects I photograph are not always the most obviously interesting. For example, a broken umbrella on the ground with the angular metal ribs against the soft folds of the fabric forms fascinating angles and curves. The florescent graffiti on an old door front decorates the neglected surface.

I work in acrylics as it allows me to work quickly between layers. The layers vary between thin washes to thick opaque ones. The use of bold colours has always featured in my work. I apply colours randomly sometimes to evoke harmony and other times to clash and fight against each other.

I have recently starting using inks on my paintings. The random dripping and spreading of the ink allow me to play and experiment adding a new dimension to the work. I have also recently incorporated linocut prints into my paintings. I have made a collection of random shapes and symbols which I can then use as another way of mark making on the canvas or paper.

My artistic influences include Philip Taafe for his use or repetitive motifs and printing techniques, Thomas Nozkowski’s referencing of colours and objects in everyday life
and Alma Thomas for her focus on beauty and happiness.

My painting practice is mainly an investigation into Abstract Expressionism. I work very intuitively and initially with no plans or subject matter. But more than work, I play!
Initially my approach is experimental and open to any possibility. Colour and gesture are my constant search, using oils or acrylics and sometimes both.
Although my work is non-representational there are recurrent themes that appear in my work without intention. Such as weather evocation, imaginary creatures, buildings or houses. And when these appear, I am finding myself handling a visual poetry contrasting these two worlds: the abstract and the figurative.
Some of my work at a later can take a more conceptual turn, specially with my mixed media work with photography or my paintings on domestic fabrics. My main interests are around the idea of home, the domestic space, motherhood and childhood, as well as womanhood, capitalism, ecology and how everything is interconnected.

Kira is an international mixed media artist based in London. Her works are contrast-rich, optimistic expressions of her experience of the world: from childhood in Germany, years of study in the US and travels to visually rich cultures such as the Middle East, to her life now in cosmopolitan London.

Deeply influenced by the ideology ‘anything is possible’, Kira’s paintings radiate an energetic, positive outlook on life. She constantly pushes her work towards abstraction, leaving the artworks deliberately open-ended and intriguing to the viewer. She builds up complex layers of paint, collage and texture to reflect the richness of her life’s experiences. Kira states: “Colour is a fascination to me. I seek out beautiful harmonies and intriguing contrasts.” In every piece she aims to balance visual depth and complexity with a feeling of hopefulness and spontaneity.

Kira started painting at a young age in Germany, taking Art to A-levels. Thereafter, she explored an international business career that allowed her to absorb many different countries and cultures. Eventually, Kira settled in London and started to pursue her art full time in 2017. She completed a 2-year Arts Foundation Diploma course where she experimented and developed techniques in photo/film work, screen printing, sculpture and more. Continuous learning and growing is part of Kira's life. She currently pursues studies at ESOP and an MA at the RA London.

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